What are the new frontiers for extra virgin olive oil in Japan?
The Italian Chamber of Commerce in the Asian country (ICCJ) has no doubt: "Increasingly social and international."
For ten years now the Italian Chamber of Commerce has been dedicating a prestigious prize to the best olive oils, the Japan Olive Oil Prize (JOOP).
The last edition ended just a few days ago.
As per usual, the Italian Chamber of Commerce released some of the key findings of how European olive oil is consumed in Japan.
Firstly: "From supermarkets to restaurants this product still represents a niche market but with encouraging margins for development, in which Spanish and Italian oils take more than 90 percent of the shares. While the formers have a higher sales volume, thanks in part to a very competitive price, Italian extra virgin olive oils are recognized for their usually higher quality."
But what are the winning strategies to really make this extract known and appreciated?
"Olive oil, refined oil, virgin oil: these are just three of the generic, and sometimes misleading, descriptions used to refer to extra virgin olive oil, a product which is in fact a very different quality and has specific beneficial properties,'' states the ICCJ. "Japan is a country that, especially since the Fukushima accident in 2011, has paid increasing attention to food safety and the concept of healthy eating. In this context extra virgin olive oil, already introduced in the 1990s with the boom in Italian cuisine, has become more popular, albeit with a still limited per capita consumption.”
A healthy daily habit, that is the message at the heart of the EU communication project, Oliveoileu.jp - which brings information, recipes, research and news about European olive oil to Japan.
The Italian Chamber of Commerce in Japan writes: "The daily diet in Japan sees soy sauce as the main condiment in cooking, but EVOO, precisely in light of a growing interest in personal health, is gradually finding its way into Japan’s cooking habits. Thanks to its mission to educate and spread oil culture in Japan, the Japan Olive Oil Prize (JOOP) has been at the forefront for ten years now. Established in 2012, JOOP has left its mark in Asia and around the world (sixth global competition according to the NY-based Olive Times magazine), and now gathers 500 oils from 21 countries, with a rich annual promotional calendar that includes winners' participation in events, master classes with professional chefs, and open days for industry professionals."
An educational mission perfectly in line with the spirit of Oliveoileu.jp.
"Just this week," the ICCJ announces, "the winners of the 2022 edition will be presented in front of the media in Japan, with a tasting guided by one of the jurors, focusing on how to distinguish a high- quality extra virgin oil.” As of this year the competition has also opened a new Instagram account, thus aiming to reach an additional segment of active users on social media and carrying out its educational mission even more efficiently and strategically."
For those who would like to see how to taste this precious extract, follow the link to a video of one of the events held by ICCJ in Japan with olive oil as the guest of honor: https://fb.watch/dxwfuDsSLB/
26 July 2022